Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, supported Donald Trump’s candidacy early on. The senator also stands as one of Trump’s only “friends” on the hill. Lately though, not so much. Corker sent tweets claiming that the White House had devolved into “an adult day care center.” He later warned that Trump’s behavior is setting the nation “on the path to World War III.”
This comes after Corker announced plans not to seek re-election, which angered his boss. Trump tweeted in response, “Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said ‘NO’ and he dropped out (said he could not win without my endorsement) He also wanted to be Secretary of State. I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”
The tweet that really set Trump off came in response to that tirade, but the fight didn’t end there.
Tweets set off trouble in paradise
“He concerns me,” Corker told the Times. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation. I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of [senior administration officials] trying to contain him.”
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told Fox & Friends Corker’s comments “undermine the U.S. on the world stage. I find tweets like these to be incredibly irresponsible,” she said. “It adds to their ability and their cover to speak about a president of the United States … in ways no president should be talked about,” she said.
Conway, unlike her boss, said she prefers to conduct her own business in private. The advisor must not have logged in to Twitter recently, because Corker’s comments pale in comparison to the president’s. Here are just a few of the tweets that demonstrate he does not need Corker to undermine his credibility.
‘Rocket man’ – and he doesn’t mean Elton John
Trump decided to nickname North Korea’s volatile Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” in a continued campaign to bait the dictator on Twitter. This past week, Trump tweeted that only “one thing” will work with regard to North Korea’s continued nuclear testing. He also dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s diplomatic efforts there as “fruitless,” according to Vanity Fair.
In what might be a good-cop, bad-cop strategy, Tillerson said that the State Department has “a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang” for humanitarian purposes. He is hoping for a “peaceful resolution.” Immediately thereafter, Trump tweeted, “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Who’s bluffing? Who’s trying to start the next World War on Twitter? Hard to tell.
Puerto Rico wasn’t complimentary enough for Trump
Trump started out his response to Hurricane Maria by bashing Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, but soon moved on to personal attacks. He later tweeted, “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
According to CNN, Trump’s tweets threatened to pull federal aid from the island. First, he blamed Puerto Rico for lack of infrastructure “largely of their own making.” Next, he tweeted, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
At the time, Federal Emergency Management Agency official Alejandro de la Campa said only 5% of electricity had been restored in the island. He said 33% of the telecommunications infrastructure was back up and close to 50% of water services had been restored. The death toll from the storm rose to 45, and at least 113 people remain unaccounted for, according to Karixia Ortiz, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Safety.
President bafflingly takes the NFL to task
In a series of tweets that completely miss the point of the NFL police brutality protests, Trump feuded with the football league. He criticized players for kneeling during the anthem, calling it a sign of disrespect, instead of a protest with long and storied roots in America. The president called for the league to fire players who knelt in protest. He also praised commissioner Roger Goodell for requiring that players stand. According to CNN, Goodell said no such thing.
In a letter he sent to team executives, Goodell vowed to “continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.” He did not make any threat of disciplinary action. His letter also did not vow to cut, ban, bench, or “fire” any players who join the protest, as Trump continues to advocate. The president kept the fight alive week after week, even orchestrating a stunt in which Vice President Mike Pence left a football game when players knelt.
Trump supports Confederate statues
What else does Trump stand for? Confederate statues. Following white supremacy counter-protests in Charlottesville, Trump made a brief statement from his golf club. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said, according to CNN. White supremacist David Duke later praised the president and his commentary.
Trump also said allowing the statue’s removal could lead to the removal of other monuments to the country’s Founding Fathers, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. On October 7, white supremacist leader Richard Spencer led another torch-lit protest in the city’s Emancipation Park, according to NBC. “We are not going away,” he said. “The monument issue isn’t just about monuments. It’s about history [and] race. It’s about identity.”
Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping
In a continued display of paranoia, Trump repeatedly claimed President Barack Obama wiretapped his residence. No investigation ever found any evidence to support the accusation. According to Reuters, the FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division “confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described.”
The statement came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by American Oversight, a government watchdog group. Obama, who rarely responds to criticism of that nature, called the claim “simply false.” American Oversight said the Justice Department filing “confirmed in writing that President Trump lied when he tweeted that former President Obama ‘wiretapped’ him at Trump Tower.”
All of the president’s (attacks on) women
The president’s continued attacks on women come as no shock to anyone, at this point. When he perceives a woman has slighted him, Trump tends to go on the offensive, usually online. He has tweeted and said so many offensive things, The Telegraph started a sexism tracker for quick and easy reference. This tweet stands out because it goes after the Morning Joe staff with insults, ableism, and sexism all in one.
If Conway had read any of her boss’s feed lately, she would know Corker is not the threat to the nation’s image she has to worry about. Multiple people have attempted to get Trump off Twitter, for his own image and the safety of the free world. None have yet succeeded. It’s only a matter of time before a Trump tweet really blows up, and when that does inevitably happen, we can only hope the country doesn’t go with it.
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